Pareidolia Is The Phenomenon That Causes Us To Notice Animal Shapes In The Clouds Or The Famous “Man In The Moon,” But Recent Studies Suggest Creative People Are More Likely To Seek These Visual Patterns Than Others

muratart - - illustrative purposes only

Have you ever seen specific forms or images in everyday objects? Perhaps you’ve noticed a fluffy, white cloud take on the shape of a bunny or a splatter of mud on your car windshield that looks like a clown.

This phenomenon has a name: pareidolia. It is a type of apophenia and is described as the tendency to seek patterns in random visual information.

People have often reported seeing human faces or forms in inanimate objects. Pareidolia is what causes people to see the famous “man in the moon” or the face of Mother Teresa on a cinnamon bun.

Another particular example includes the image of a crucified man, who some interpret as Jesus Christ, on the Shroud of Turin, which is a piece of centuries-old linen cloth.

Furthermore, an example of pareidolia can be found in a tree stump that bears the image of the Virgin Mary. The stump is located outside St. Mary’s Church in Rathkaele, Ireland.

In 1976, photos captured during the Viking 1 mission showed a face on Mars that could have been from an ancient civilization.

Pareidolia does not only involve human faces. More recently, in March 2023, people claimed to see a teddy bear on Mars. Pareidolia can even be an auditory phenomenon.

For instance, it was thought that the song “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles contained hints about Paul McCartney’s death. When the song was played backward, many people declared that they heard the words “Paul is dead.”

So, what exactly causes pareidolia? Everyone experiences pareidolia to some extent, but the ability is more developed in certain individuals than others. Recent studies have found that creative people are more likely to see pareidolia than less creative people.

muratart – – illustrative purposes only

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